The Berlin-Baghdad Express explores one of the big, previously unresearched subjects of the First World War: the German bid for world power - and the destruction of the British Empire - through the harnessing of the Ottoman Empire.
McMeekin's book shows how incredibly high the stakes were in the Middle East - with the Germans in the tantalizing position of taking over the core of the British Empire via the extraordinary railway that would link Central Europe and the Persian Gulf. Germany sought the Ottoman Empire as an ally to create jihad against the British - whose Empire at the time was the largest Islamic power in the world.
The Berlin-Baghdad Express is a fascinating account of western interference in the Middle East and its lamentable results. It explains and brings to life a massive area of fighting, which in most other accounts is restricted to the disaster at Gallipoli and the British invasions of Iraq and Palestine.
Sean McMeekin was born in Idaho, raised in Rochester NY, and educated at Stanford and UC Berkeley. He has been fascinated by modern history ever since playing Winston Churchill in a school reenactment of the Yalta Conference at age 15, and Joseph McCarthy in an even more outlandish reenactment of the Army-McCarthy hearings at age 17, which involved camcorders and double agents in the Russian Club. He pursued this interest into various American and European battlefields, libraries, and archives, venturing as far east as Russia, before settling down to teach for some years in Turkey, wh...
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